Constitution of The Singapore Association for the Deaf

MISSION: To assist the Deaf to achieve a better quality of life and to enable them to integrate and contribute to society.

RULE 1: NAME AND PLACE OF BUSINESS

(a)         The name of the Association shall be ‘THE SINGAPORE ASSOCIATION FOR THE DEAF’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Association’).

(b)         The registered place of business of the Association shall be at No. 227, Mountbatten Road, Singapore 397998 or at such other place in the Republic of Singapore as may be determined by the Executive Council from time to time and approved by the Registrar of Societies.

RULE 2: OBJECTIVES OF THE ASSOCIATION

The objectives of the Association shall be:

(a)         to promote and manage all aspects of the welfare of the Deaf (including those with hearing disabilities and who are hard of hearing, (hereinafter referred to as the Deaf) in Singapore;

(b)         to develop, provide and maintain welfare, educational and training services for the Deaf in Singapore;

(c)         to advocate for the full participation of the Deaf community in our society;

(d)         to do any or all such other things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects, the Association shall:

  • receive gifts in property or in kind, whether subject to any special trust or not, for any one or more of the objectives of the Association;
  • raise funds in aid of the Deaf in such manner as the Association may think fit, including the sale of hearing aids, accessories or other things;
  • publish any newspapers, periodicals, books, articles, advertisements in print or other appropriate medium that the Association may think desirable for the promotion of its objectives and such other materials;
  • establish, support and aid in the setting up of any other Association formed for or any part of the objectives of the Association;
  • purchase, develop, maintain, lease or otherwise acquire land or buildings of whatever kind or any interest in the same and to sell, convey, assign, mortgage, pledge or otherwise dispose of any land or buildings for the purpose of the Association.

RULE 3: INTERPRETATION

The Executive Council shall be the sole authority for the interpretation of the rules made hereunder. In the event of any question or matter arising out of any point which is not expressly provided for in these rules the Executive Council shall have the power to decide on such matters.

RULE 4: MEMBERSHIP

(a)       (i)            Membership shall be open to all persons over the age of sixteen years and all deaf persons under the age of sixteen years who signify their general agreement with the objectives of the Association provided that they are duly proposed and seconded by two members of the Association and approved by the Executive Council. A person applying for membership shall fill in the Association’s prescribed application form. Each application form shall contain the name, address, age and occupation of the applicant and shall be sent to the Honorary Secretary.

(ii)         Corporate Membership shall be open to all business organisations registered with the Registrar of Business and Companies, Singapore. Application for membership shall be made on the Association’s prescribed application form.    

(b)         There shall be six classes of membership:-

(i)          Ordinary Membership: This shall be granted to Singapore citizens and permanent residents who are over the age of sixteen years only.

(ii)         Life Membership: This shall be granted to Ordinary Members who have been members of the Association for at least five years.

(iii)        Corporate Membership: This grade of membership is granted to business  organisations.

  • Honorary Membership: Honorary membership shall be conferred on individuals who, in the opinion of the Executive Council, have rendered meritorious service to the Deaf of Singapore. Honorary members shall not be required to fill in application forms or to pay any subscriptions.
  • Associate Membership: This shall be granted to non-Singapore citizens who are over the age of sixteen years.

(vi)        Junior Membership: This shall be granted to deaf Singapore citizens and permanent residents who are under the age of sixteen years.

(c)         SUBSCRIPTIONS          

              (i)          Subscriptions for the various categories of membership shall be as follows:

                           Ordinary Membership:                $15 (per annum)

                           Life Membership:                         $150

                           Corporate Membership:              $500 (per annum)

                           Honorary Membership:               Nil

                           Associate Membership:               $30 (per annum)

                           Junior Membership:                     $5 (per annum)

(ii)         The above rates can be changed by the Executive Council and take effect after approval has been granted at the Extraordinary General Meeting or Annual General Meeting.

(iii)        All subscriptions shall be due on 1st January each year, notice of which shall be given by the Honorary Secretary. A Member whose subscription is in arrears for more than one year shall cease to be a Member.

(iv)        Should payment of renewal fees not be made, re-application of membership shall only be allowed on payment of the arrears.

(d)         RIGHTS OF MEMBERSHIP

(i)          Ordinary and Life Members whose subscriptions are not in arrears shall have the right to vote at all General Meetings of the Association and to stand for election to the Executive Council.

(ii)         Honorary Members shall have no voting rights and shall not be eligible for any office in the Association. An Honorary Member shall not be liable in any way for the debts due and remaining unpaid by the Association.

(iii)        Junior, Associate and Corporate Members shall have no voting rights and shall not be eligible to stand for election to any office in the Association.

(iv)        Only Ordinary and Life Members who are not employed, fully or partially by the Association, or who are not seconded to serve the Association by the Government are eligible to stand for election to the Executive Council of the Association.

(e)         Notice of any change of address of any member shall be given in writing immediately to the Association.

RULE 5: CONSTITUTION AND GOVERNMENT

The supreme authority of the Association shall be vested in the Annual and Extraordinary General Meetings of the members who will elect the Executive Council to maintain its constitution.

RULE 6: ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

(a)                      The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held before the end of  September each year. The exact time, date and place shall be decided by the Executive Council.

(b)                      The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be to consider and decide the policies of the Association, to receive and elect the Office Bearers of the Executive Council, to appoint Auditors and Trustees of the Association and to consider any other matters which may be properly brought before such Meeting.

(c)                       A preliminary notice of the Annual General Meeting asking for resolutions for discussions at the meeting, motions for the amendments of rules, and other such matters to be included in the agenda, shall be sent to all members not less than 21 calendar days before the date for the Annual General Meeting.

(d)                      Resolutions, motions for the amendments of rules, and other matters to be included in the agenda must be sent in writing to the Honorary Secretary not later than 14 calendar days before the date of the Meeting.

(e)                       The Honorary Secretary shall then prepare and forward to all members, not less than 7 calendar days before the date of the meeting, the Executive Council’s Annual Report and an Agenda including any resolution proposed by members, motions for amendment of rules and any other matters requested by the members.

(f)                       The quorum for the Annual General Meeting shall not be less than thirty members (Ordinary and Life) of the Association. If, after half an hour from the time appointed for the Meeting, a quorum is not present, the Meeting will continue but shall have no power to alter, amend or make additions to any of the existing rules.

(g)                       Every question arising at the Annual General Meeting shall be decided by a majority of members present and voting. Should there be an equal number of votes for and against a motion the Chairman at the Meeting shall have a second or casting vote.

(h)                      At the Annual General Meeting the Executive Council shall table before the meeting an Annual Report and a Financial Statement comprising an Income and Expenditure Statement and a Balance Sheet of the Association for the financial year ending 31st March. These shall be signed by the President, Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Secretary.

(i)                        The Honorary Secretary shall be responsible for the correctness of all records except the financial matters of the Association. The Honorary Secretary shall keep minutes of all General and Executive Council Meetings.

A Meeting shall be presided over by the President or in his absence by a Vice- President and if all shall absent by any member elected by the Meeting to be Chairman for the purpose of that Meeting only.

(j)                        Nominations of members for the Executive Council shall be made on the prescribed form and shall be returned to the Honorary Secretary not later than 14 calendar days before the Annual General Meeting. Nomination forms shall be sent to all members not less than 21 calendar days before the date of the Annual General Meeting. All nominations must be proposed and seconded by Ordinary and Life members of the Association and the nominees must give their written consent to stand for election.

All members nominated to stand for election to the Executive Council must be present at the Annual General Meeting. Should a nominated member be unable to attend, a written statement of his acceptance to stand for election is to be submitted to the Honorary Secretary before the Annual General Meeting.

RULE 7: EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING

(a)         An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Association shall be convened:-

  • whenever the Executive Council shall deem it desirable, or
  • at the request in writing of not less than 30 members (Ordinary or Life) of the Association. Such a request must state the objectives of the Meeting and shall be signed by the members requesting the Meeting. Within two weeks from the receipt of such request, the Executive Council shall cause an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held to discuss the matters raised.

(b)         Notice of an Extraordinary General Meeting shall be sent to all members by the Honorary Secretary not less than 21 calendar days before the date of the Extraordinary General Meeting.

(c)         The rules applying to the Annual General Meeting in regard to the Resolutions and Amendments in sub-sections (d) and (e) of Rule 6 (in so far as these shall be applicable to the matters to be discussed at the Extraordinary General Meeting) and with regard to quorum and voting in sub-sections (f) and (g) in Rule 6 shall apply to Extraordinary General Meetings.

RULE 8: THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

(a)         The following officers of the Executive Council shall be elected at an Annual General Meeting, once in every two years. The Honorary Treasurer and the Honorary Assistant Treasurer shall have a maximum term limit of four consecutive years. No person shall be eligible for re-election as Honorary Treasurer or Honorary Assistant Treasurer within two years from when such person has last held office as Honorary Treasurer or Honorary Assistant Treasurer (as the case may be).

All office-bearers except the Honorary Treasurer and the Honorary Assistant Treasurer, may be re-elected to the same or related post for a consecutive term of office:-

  • President;
  • Four Vice-Presidents who shall respectively take charge of the Education Management Committee, Vocational School Management Committee, Deaf Access Committee and the Community Services Committee;
  • Honorary Secretary who shall be in charge of the Administration Committee;
  • Honorary Assistant Secretary;
  • Honorary Treasurer who shall be in charge of the Finance Committee;
  • Honorary Assistant Treasurer;
  • Up to Ten Council Members, at least four of whom shall be Deaf or Hard-of-hearing individuals.

(b)         The elected Chairman of the Social Group of the Deaf (SGD) shall be co-opted as a Member of the Executive Council.

(c)         The Executive Council shall have the power to fill vacancies, including vacancies in any office, and to co-opt up to four additional Council Members.     

(d)         The Executive Council may invite any person(s) to be observer(s) to attend its meetings and participate in the discussion, provided that the person(s) so invited shall have no voting rights.

(e)         A quorum shall be at least half of the Council members.

(f)          Each Council member shall be entitled to one (1) vote per Council member present and competent to vote on the question in issue.

(g)         The Management of the Association shall be vested in the Executive Council which shall have the powers to:-

  • act for and represent the Association in all matters;
  • carry out and execute the decisions and resolutions arrived at the General Meeting of the Association;
  • decide and execute all matters requiring necessary attention and within the scope of the Association;
  • appoint members to the committee(s) which are listed in these Rules as well as committees for any special purpose(s) as it may deem necessary;
  • manage and administer the Funds of the Association;
  • invite such persons as it deems fit to become Patron(s) of the Association;
  • expel any member for just and adequate cause. A member so expelled shall have the right to appeal to an Extraordinary General Meeting or the Annual General Meeting of the Association.
  • shall have the absolute discretion to remove any member from the Executive Council who has been absent from three consecutive meetings, without any good and sufficient reason.

(h)         The Executive Council shall have the power to:-

  • meet together for the dispatch of business, adjourn or otherwise regulate its meetings as it thinks fit and determine the quorum necessary for the transaction of business. Unless otherwise determined, half the membership of the
    Council shall constitute a quorum;
  • cause proper minutes of all proceedings to be duly recorded;
  • cause proper books of account to be kept at the office of the Association;
  • admit or expel members;
  • prepare the Annual Budget and have the authority to approve the Budget and all other expenditure;
  • sell, manage, lease, mortgage, dispose of or otherwise deal with all or any assets of the Association;
  • invest the monies of the Association not immediately required for its purposes in or upon such investments, securities or property as may be thought fit, subject nevertheless to such conditions (if any) and such consents (if any) as may for the time being imposed or required by law;
  • undertake any activities as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects.

(i)          Whenever a member of the Board/Management Committee is in any way, directly or indirectly, has an interest in a transaction or project or other matter to be discussed at a meeting, the member shall disclose the nature of his interest before the discussion on the matter begins.

(j)          The member concerned should not participate in the discussion or vote on the matter, and should also offer to withdraw from the meeting and the Board/Management Committee shall decide if this should be accepted.

RULE 9: DUTIES OF OFFICE BEARERS

(a)         The President:

The President shall preside at all Annual and Extraordinary General Meetings and Executive Council Meetings, and shall be responsible for proper conduct of business at all such meetings. When necessary he shall have a casting vote at all meetings over which he presides. He shall sign the minutes of each meeting at the time they are approved. It shall be his duty to superintend the general administration of the affairs of the Association. The President shall represent the Association at such functions or meetings as he deems necessary and shall be empowered to make decisions on behalf of the Association subject to subsequent approval by the Executive Council.   

(b)         The Vice-Presidents:

              The Vice-Presidents shall take charge of their respective Committees.

The President shall delegate his duties to one of the Vice-Presidents when necessary. In the President’s absence, the Executive Council shall elect one of the Vice-Presidents to perform the duties of the President.

(c)         The Honorary Secretary:

The Honorary Secretary or his duly appointed representative shall conduct the business of the Association in accordance with the rules and shall carry out the instructions of the Annual or an Extraordinary General Meeting and of the Executive Council. He or his duly appointed representative shall attend to and record the minutes of all Annual and Extraordinary General Meetings and Executive Council Meetings. The Honorary Secretary or his duly appointed representative shall also be responsible for keeping a list of Members, and for such duties as may from time to time be delegated to him by the Executive Council. In addition he shall take charge of the Administration Committee.

(d)         The Honorary Assistant Secretary:

The Honorary Assistant Secretary shall assist the Honorary Secretary in his duties. In the absence of the Honorary Secretary, he shall assume the responsibilities of the Honorary Secretary.

(e)         The Honorary Treasurer:

The Honorary Treasurer shall be responsible for the financial affairs of the Association, as provided for in Rule 11 (Funds). He or his duly appointed representative shall prepare a financial statement for each meeting of the Executive Council and for the Annual General Meetings of the Association. He shall also take charge of the Finance Committee.

(f)          The Honorary Assistant Treasurer:

The Honorary Assistant Treasurer shall assist the Honorary Treasurer in his duties. In the absence of the Honorary Treasurer, he shall assume the responsibilities of the Honorary Treasurer.

(g)         Members of the Executive Council:

Members of the Executive Council shall attend meetings of the Council and generally assist in the consideration, decision and execution of matters brought up for discussion.

RULE 10: COMMITTEES

(a)         The Executive Council may appoint at its discretion Committees for the various activities of the Association, to be constituted as the Council thinks appropriate and may delegate to such Committees and powers as the Council thinks fit. The Chairmen of the various Committees may co-opt any members of the Association to their respective Committees.

(b)         The Committees shall be responsible and answerable to the Executive Council and shall forward their reports before the regular meetings of the Executive Council.

(c)         Every Committee Meeting shall be presided by the Chairman of the Committee and in his absence by the Vice-Chairman (if any) and if both shall be absent by any Committee Member elected by the Chairman to be Chairman for the purpose of that meeting only. The Chairman at a Committee Meeting shall have a casting vote.

(d)         Any changes in the committee shall be notified to the Registrar of Societies and Commission of Charities within 7 days of changes.

RULE 11: FUNDS

(a)         The Funds of the Association shall be derived from subscriptions, from functions held in aid of the Association, from voluntary contributions of the general public, from the sale of gifts, goods and services and from grants that may hereinafter be received from Government or any other public or private organisation or individual.

(b)         All subscriptions and other monies and debts due to the Association shall be collected by the Honorary Treasurer, who shall keep an account in the name of the Association at any of the authorised banks. All cheques issued by the Association must be signed by the Honorary Treasurer or Honorary Assistant Treasurer and the President, or in the President’s absence by one of the Vice-Presidents.

All cheques issued by schools operated by the Association shall be signed by the Head(s) of the school(s) jointly with the Association’s Honorary Treasurer or the Supervisor of the respective School of Management Committee who shall be members of the Executive Council.

(c)         The Association may accept gifts, donations, legacies and contributions of whatever nature in cash or in kind from members, or any other person for the objectives and general purposes of the Association or for any of them, but nothing in these presents shall absolve any members from paying any subscription due.

RULE 12: TRUSTEES

(a)         If the Association at any time acquires any property, such property shall be vested in the Trustees subject to a declaration of Trust.            

(b)         Trustees may from time to time be appointed at a General Meeting and the number of Trustees shall not be greater than five or less than three.

(c)         Vacancies in the number of Trustees may from time to time be filled at a General Meeting.

(d)         Notice of any proposal to remove a Trustee from his trusteeship or to appoint a new Trustee to fill a vacancy must be given by affixing in the premises of the Association a document containing such proposal at least two weeks before the meeting at which the proposal is to be discussed. The result of such meeting shall then be notified to the Registrar of Societies and the Commissioner of Charities.

(e)         The Registrar of Societies and the Commissioner of Charities shall be notified of the address of each immovable property, name of each Trustee and any subsequent changes.

(f)          The trustees of the Society shall not affect any sale or mortgage of property without the prior approval of the General Meeting of members.

RULE 13: INVESTMENT

An Investment Committee shall be responsible for all investments of the Association’s Funds, and shall consist of:-

  • The Honorary Treasurer
    • A Vice-President
    • The Honorary Secretary
    • One other Member of the Executive Council
    • The President, Ex-Officio.

The Committee shall meet as often as is necessary and shall report every change in investments to the Executive Council at the earliest opportunity as part of the financial report. All investments shall require the approval of the members at a General Meeting.

RULE 14: AUDITORS

The Association shall, at each Annual General Meeting, appoint auditor(s) approved by the Commissioner of Charities, to hold office until the next Annual General Meeting. No Association member(s) shall be eligible for appointment as Auditors. Any change of the Auditor(s) must have the approval of the Commissioner of Charities. This rule shall not be amended unless with the clearance from the Commissioner of Charities.

RULE 15: THE CONSTITUTION AND THE RULES

These Rules shall not be amended or rescinded except by a special resolution passed at a General Meeting of the Association by a two-thirds majority of members present and voting at the meeting. Notice of intention to propose such a special resolution shall be given in writing to the Honorary Secretary 21 days before the meeting. No alterations or amendments shall be made without the approval of the Registrar of Societies and the Commissioner of Charities.

RULE 16: CESSATION OF CHARITY STATUS

In the event that the Association ceases to be a registered charity under the Charities Act, all debts, liabilities legally incurred on behalf of the Association shall be fully discharged, and the remaining funds will be contributed to other institutions of a public character with similar objectives in Singapore which are registered under the Charities Act as the members of the Association may determine at the General Meeting, unless otherwise allowed by the Commissioner of Charities.

RULE 17: DISSOLUTION

  • The Association shall not be dissolved except with the consent of not less than 3/5 of the Ordinary and Life Members for the time being resident in Singapore expressed in person at a General Meeting convened for the purpose.

(b)         A Certificate of Dissolution shall be given within 7 days of dissolution to the Registrar of Societies and the Commissioner of Charities.

(c)         On dissolution all debts and liabilities legally incurred on behalf of the Association shall be fully discharged, and the remaining funds and assets of the Association shall be donated to the other institutions of a public character with similar objectives that are registered under the Charities Act as members of the Association may determine at the General Meeting. This rule shall not be amended unless with the clearance from the Commissioner of Charities.

Approved by the Ministry of Social and Family Development on 9 October 2019.

Approved by the Registry of Societies on 19 February 2020.

SADeaf Constitution